There’s a little known syndrome in the crafting world that I dubbed MWG- aka – Makers Weight Gain. No one likes to talk about it. (Can’t we just talk about yarn???) It’s an insidious enemy that slowly creeps into its victim’s life. It is stubborn. It takes up residence and settles in for a long stay. Stubborn and tenacious, nothing but a full on assault will cure the problem.
My love of knitting and crocheting has resulted in one and only one negative side effect. It’s a term I’m calling “Makers Weight Gain.” There’s nothing I enjoy more than cozying up on my couch with a heap of colorful yarn and knitting up a sweet little animal. But that wonderful time, coupled with delicious homemade baked goods, has resulted in an uncomfortable amount of weight gain. But I am determined to do something about it.
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MWG = Makers Weight Gain
Although crocheting and knitting have numerous health benefits, both physical and mental, there’s no denying that it’s a sedentary activity. I have become complacent about exercise and diet and it shows. I will be completely honest and share that I’ve gained a good 10 pounds in the past two years. At 5 feet 2 inches (in shoes, that is) any additional weight is no bueno. I also have the beginnings of arthritis and having extra weight puts undo stress on damaged joints.
I am not one to crash diet or join the latest gym craze. I’m a homebody by nature and will only exercise if I actually like doing it. I also only want to eat foods I enjoy. In the past I have successfully followed this combination of diet and exercise and have no doubt that it will work again. It’s definitely a long term approach and won’t result in any quick fixes but it fits into my lifestyle and that’s what is most important to me.
No “S” Diet
I first heard about the No “S” Diet several years ago and was intrigued. There are no special foods, no protein shakes to purchase, and no off-limit foods. Although simple, it isn’t easy. In 2015 I lost twenty pounds over the course a year doing the No “S” Diet and never felt better.
The problem is that when my son began having serious health problems my diet was the least of my concerns. (You can read more about that here). While knitting and crocheting helped ease my anxiety during that tumultuous time, so did snacking. I have a terrible sweet tooth so anything that curbs my natural appetite is better for my long term success. Makers Weight Gain crept up on me slowly and by the time I noticed it I knew I would need a plan of attack.
No “S” Diet Rules
- No Sweets
- No Snacks
- No Seconds
- Except on Days that Start with the Letter S – Saturday, Sunday, and Special Occasions
This is the absolute hardest part of the No “S” diet for me. Controlling my craving for sweet treats is difficult. The key for me has been that I am allowed to have sugary snacks, but I have to wait until Saturday or Sunday. When I followed this plan before I found that I really could only have one cheat day a week. If I did more than that the weight loss stalled.
Just knowing that each week I would be able to indulge in my favorite desserts helped me to say “no” during the week. I can handle delayed gratification. I would not be able to handle never having them again.
For me this went along with the No Sweets rule. I’m not one to eat salty snacks very often. This rule does help me to not mindlessly pick up something without thinking about it first. Snacking is not allowed on the No “S” Diet and for me that works wonderfully.
This has rarely been a problem area for me. I typically do not want to go back for a second helping for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. But it is helpful to have that rule in place for the rare occasion.
Except on Days that Start with “S”
Finally, a diet that makes sense to me. I can eat whatever I want, just not all the time. I have to wait until Saturday, Sunday, or special occasions. The No “S” has trained my brain to delay gratification when it comes to food.
Tonight we are having a family gathering and I have made the most delicious banana pudding recipe from the Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering. It is decadent and oh so delicious! This is going to be my cheat for the week and I will gladly indulge in a heaping plate!
The No “S” Diet worked extremely well for me in the past. Being able to eat the same foods my family is having is important to me. By having external limits I feel like I am able to control the amount of calories I am consuming, but I never feel deprived.
Walks with Jersey-boy are no longer cutting it in the exercise department. His love of sniffing and searching for rabbits are fine for an aging dog, but are clearly doing nothing for my fitness level. It’s time to step it up a notch or two or five or ten.
Exercise is something I do enjoy, as long as it’s something I like to do. I refuse to get up at 5:00 in the morning to do pushups while someone dressed like a drill sargeant screams at me. These two free programs have worked well for me and my plan is to alternate between the two.
C25K is short for the Couch to 5K program. It is a free app that walks users from a mostly walking workout all the way to being able to run a 5k in 8 weeks time.
There are three workouts per week and it incrementally increases the amount of running the user does. Each workout starts and finishes with a five minute walking warmup. The app prompts when you are to walk and when you should run. It really is amazing. It’s so wonderful that it is free!
Yesterday I started with the Week 1 – Day 1 session. I felt a bit like I was running through pea soup with the July heat and humidity, but it felt good to sweat so much. I’m also not afraid or embarrassed to need to repeat a workout. At a certain point the continuous running gets a bit tricky for me and I have not problem walking when I need to. I’m still getting a great workout!
Yoga with Adriene
If you aren’t already following YWA on Youtube you are missing out! She is a combination of yoga guru and the girl next door. She is funny, irreverent and oh so knowledgeable. I have been enjoying her free yoga videos for several years. I’m not the only one! She has a massive following of over five million subscribers on Youtube alone!
On January 1, 2017 I decided to follow her 30 Day Yoga Journey program. My son was not doing well health wise and I needed a physical outlet. I needed something I could do without having to leave my house. I did her videos daily for the entire month of January. I felt so good when the the program finished that I decided to keep going. I ended up doing her videos every single day in 2017 (except one horrible day when I completely forgot – but I did two videos the next to make it up).
Running/Walking and Yoga Combo
I have found that the running, walking, and yoga combination are fantastic for my fitness goals. The running and walking targets my cardio needs, while the yoga stretches and strengthens the rest of me.
I personally like the solitary aspects of running/walking and YouTube yoga. Both allow me to think, to not think, and to push myself physically. It’s good for me to step away from knitting and crocheting and do something not so sedentary. This combination is the perfect way for me to combat my crafting weight gain.
My goal is to be a crocheter and knitter for the rest of my life. I want to happily make and create until the day I croak. But I don’t want to gain an average of five pounds every year either. The key will be to spend time exercising and controlling my caloric intake.
Have you ever experienced Makers Weight Gain? What are your best tips for staying active?